Grand County’s Claddagh plays in Fraser on Friday | SkyHiNews.com

Grand County’s Claddagh plays in Fraser on Friday

Cyndi Palmer
Sky-Hi Daily News

Courtesy photoMusic lovers don't have to wait until the eleventh day of Christmas to hear pipers piping " Becky Shaw and Kathy Naples give up quite a combination of wind instrument talent playing along with a local band. Shaw, Naples, and other members from Grand County's premier Irish band Claddagh are set to play Friday during the 2nd annual Christmas with Claddagh event

Dave Naples’ Irish eyes are smilin’ as he and Grand County’s Irish band Claddagh announce their holiday concert Christmas With Claddagh at 7 p.m. in the Historic Fraser Church on Friday.

Tickets are $16 and include appetizers, with a cash bar available for Irish-style beverage service (Irish coffee, whiskey, Smithwickes beer, etc.). The intermission will feature a dessert bar, also included in the ticket price.

The refreshments and libations bar will be staffed by the Grand County Characters as a fundraiser for its Living History Troupe.

This is the second year for the holiday performance and the first year the musicians will be doing it as a benefit, sharing their Irish luck with others who haven’t been so lucky. Band member Becky Shaw and her husband were both diagnosed with different types of cancer in 2004, fiddler Sarah Clements was diagnosed with cancer a year earlier; and the band’s proceeds will go to benefit the American Cancer Society in their honor.

“The impact of the illness on the individuals, their families and friends is tremendous,” Kathy Naples said, “and the band is looking to provide support as they can for those folks. So all proceeds will help to provide support for local folks whose lives are touched by cancer in some way.”

This year’s concert also includes a performance with Shaw’s mom as a special guest, to present “The Little Drummer Boy.”

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Other songs the band plans to present cover a broad range of holiday music, as well as the Irish ditties for which they are famous. They include the oldest Irish carol “The Wexford Carol,” the “Christmas in Killarney,” and traditional sing-a-long tunes.

“The audience will also find itself taken away to the Emerald Isle with songs like ‘Butterfly’ and the band’s rousing arrangements of favorite jigs and reels,” Kathy Naples said.

“When we planned last year’s (event) we wanted to provide a taste of Ireland here in Colorado, and so chose the Irish dessert theme,” Kathy said. “The U.S. owes a lot to Ireland insofar as our Christmas traditions go, so we wanted to honor that. White candles in windows, holly, the song ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas,’ and mince pies can all be traced to immigrant ancestors from Ireland.”

The local band “Claddagh” consists of friends Becky Shaw, Sarah Clements, Dennis Stafford, and Kathy and Dave Naples; and with 17 instruments they are not your typical Irish band.

Shaw plays piccolo, flute, penny whistle, and fiddle. Clements plays mandolin and joins Shaw on fiddle. Kathy Naples plays the flute, penny whistle, and buffalo drum.

Dave plays six-string guitar, a Russian mandolin called a balalaika, bass, djembe, clay udu and bodhran Irish drums, and sings lead vocals with Stafford providing the harmonies.

Stafford also plays a 12-string guitar, recorder, penny whistle, concertina, and the bodhran Irish drum.

Claddagh and the Grand County Characters (several of the musicians are also members of this band) will once again deck the halls for the season “and the event oozes with the charm of an old-time community get-together,” Kathy said.

The program is presented in cooperation with the Grand County Characters. Tickets are available at the door beginning at 6 p.m.

For more information, call Dave Naples at (970) 887-3066 or Judy Stanfill at (970) 726-1037.

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